Lemon and orange drizzle cake recipe

(777 ratings)

Our lemon and orange drizzle cake tart combines pastry, fluffy sponge cake and citrusy fruit syrups.

lemon and orange drizzle cake tart
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time30 mins plus soaking overnight
Cooking Time1 hours 20 mins
Total Time1 hours 50 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories378 Kcal19%
Fat15.9 g23%
Sugars38.2 g42%
Saturated Fat9.3 g47%
Protein4.4 g9%
Carbohydrates54.4 g21%

This zesty lemon and orange drizzle cake tart is under 400 cals a slice and can be served as a dessert or a snack. 

If you love the flavours in our orange drizzle cake but fancy something a little more impressive, this lemon and orange drizzle cake tart is perfect. The base consists of a classic rich shortcrust pastry which is then topped with a fluffy cake sponge and candied slices of orange and lemon. It takes a little time to prepare but the fruit can be made ahead as well as the syrups.


For the topping:

  • 2 medium oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 250g (8oz) granulated sugar

For the base:

  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • 30g (1oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • 200g (7oz) butter
  • 2 medium egg yolks

For the filling:

  • 3tbsp apricot jam, warmed
  • 125g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 125g (4oz) self-raising flour




  1. A day ahead of making the cake, slice the oranges and lemons very thinly and put them into separate bowls. Pour 450ml cold water into each bowl. Cover and leave the fruit to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, strain the water from the fruit into separate saucepans and add 125g (4oz) granulated sugar to each pan. Stir each pan over a moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and boil for a minute.
  3. Cook the orange slices very gently in the orange syrup and the lemon slices in the lemon syrup for 30-40 minutes, until soft but not broken up and still holding their shape. Remove from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile, set the oven to 200C (180C, Gas 6).
  4. Sift the plain flour and icing sugar into a bowl and rub in 90g (3oz) of the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and mix until the dough comes together. Tip into a 26 x 16.5cm (10 ¼ x 6½ in) tin, lined with baking parchment, and press down well to form an even layer for the base. Prick evenly with a fork.
  5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread with warmed jam. Reduce the oven temperature 180C (160C fan, Gas 4).
  6. Cream the remaining butter with the caster sugar until light and creamy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the self-raising flour and then spread evenly over the cooked pastry and jam. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 mins until cooked.
  7. Strain the syrup from both the orange and the lemon slices into one saucepan. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until reduced by about half and the syrup becomes slightly thickened. Arrange the orange and lemon slices on top of the sponge and then spoon the reduced syrup over the top to glaze. Slice into squares when cold.

Top tips for making lemon and orange drizzle cake tart

You can make the orange and lemon syrup and candied slices a couple of days ahead if you prefer. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the cake tart. You can use all oranges or all lemons if you prefer. Blood oranges would be attractive to use when in season. For more tips on how to make this recipe, continue reading below. 

How can I make my cakes light and fluffy?

It’s important that you cream together the butter and sugar for enough time. It can take up to 10 minutes for the colour to turn pale and for the texture to turn very fluffy. Also make sure you accurately weigh your ingredients as the ratios matter. You should also ensure the oven is at the correct temperature before you put the cake in and act quickly from when you combine the ingredients and pour on top of the pastry layer. 

What can I use instead of apricot jam?

The jam helps to seal the pastry and prevent it going soggy when you add the cake batter on top. Alternatively, you could brush it with some egg white and then put back in the oven for a minute or two to set. The jam will add some sweetness but with the lemon and orange syrup we think the cake will still be sweet enough if you omit the jam. 

Do oranges and lemons taste good together?

Yes, we think the combination of oranges and lemons is delicious. Both fruits balance and enhance one another and bring a refreshing zingy flavour. These citrus fruits also compliment the flavour of gin very well so if you want a boozy twist, consider adding a little gin to your cooled syrup before you pour over the cake. 

Like most baking recipes, it’s important you accurately weigh your ingredients when making this lemon and orange drizzle cake tart. Another important factor is making sure your oven is set to the correct temperature. Investing in an oven thermometer is a good idea if you’ve struggled with cakes and bakes being under or overcooked in the past. 

Salter 513 SSCR Oven Thermometer - View at Amazon 

Salter 513 SSCR Oven Thermometer - View at Amazon 

This oven thermometer has a range from 50C-300C so you can cook with confidence. It has a bold display which is easy to read and has an adjustable viewing angle. 

If this is a little too technical for you, try baking the classic Mary Berry lemon drizzle cake which is so easy kids can help make it. You might also like our lemon and orange cake or for something that looks special but takes minimal effort, this lemon curd cake is perfect.